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Settlement calls for Lyndsey Hughes to receive $72,000



Published: Thu, June 5, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Lyndsey Hughes, a city employee sexually harassed on the job, will receive $72,000 and her attorneys will get $48,000 as part of a settlement agreement that also includes her not keeping her job.

City council voted 7-0 Wednesday to pay the city’s $50,000 deductible to its insurance company to resolve the complaint. The board of control will authorize the payment today, said Mayor John A. McNally, that body’s chairman.

Vindy.com, The Vindicator’s website, first reported details about the settlement early Wednesday.

Hughes made $41,125 in annual salary as the downtown director of events, special projects and marketing, a job she had since 2008.

Her final day as downtown director, according to the agreement, was May 21.

She’s been off work since March 28, invoking the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which allowed Hughes to use sick and vacation time she accrued and still get paid.

As part of the settlement, Hughes is receiving two $36,000 payments. One is for wages with tax withholdings and the other, without withholdings, is for “exacerbation of physical or psychological condition,” according to the settlement agreement.

Andrew L. Margolius and Barbara A. Belovich, Hughes’ Cleveland-based attorneys, are being paid $48,000 by the city.

“Both sides are satisfied” with the agreement, Law Director Martin Hume said.

A previous tentative agreement called for Hughes to receive a $90,000 settlement and report to McNally, but a majority of council members didn’t want her to return to her job, according to numerous sources with detailed information about this issue.

A Dec. 6, 2013, report conducted on behalf of the city concluded that DeMaine Kitchen, a former chief of staff/secretary to former mayor Charles Sammarone and also a former city councilman, ósexually harassed Hughes.

That report included an admission from Kitchen, a failed 2013 mayoral candidate, that he made inappropriate and flirtatious remarks to Hughes both verbally and through text messages.

Hughes told an investigator hired by the city that the harassment by Kitchen, who is married, started in late 2009 when he was the 2nd Ward councilman, and was off and on until July 2013 when she had an attorney contact the law director about the behavior.

The investigation was a major issue in the race that saw McNally, a Democrat, defeat Kitchen, who ran as an independent.

Meanwhile, finding a replacement for Hughes is up in the air.

During a 30-minute executive session Wednesday, council members could be heard yelling. The same thing happened at an April 17 executive session to discuss Hughes’ complaint.

After Wednesday’s closed-door meeting, Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, said, “We’re not going to do anything. There was no decision on an interim or permanent [replacement]. I want an interim.”

Tarpley backed a proposal from Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st, to hire Terrill Vidale, a local event promoter, to replace Hughes on a temporary basis. But a majority of council didn’t support that move.

A similar effort also failed two weeks ago.

“No decisions were reached,” said Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th. “It was a stalemate.”

Council also discussed who would decide on Hughes’ replacement — council or the mayor — without a decision.

McNally questions whether the city needs a full-time downtown director’s job, and said the position would work better under his authority than the control of seven council members.

However, McNally said he is “not going to the wall” against council on having control over the position.

“Everybody on council knows my opinion,” he said.


Comments

1mike10(84 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

$120,000 For settlement.
Hughes salary $41,125
$120,000 / $41,125yr = 2.91 years. Do not fill position for 3 years to re-coop the cost. Let the Mayor and Council absorb the duties of the postion. That would be Fiscally responsible.

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2handymandave(523 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The check Sammarone wrote for DeMain Kitchen pales in comparison for the one the City is going to write for Lyndsey Hughes. Great job Chuck and DeMain!

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3ysuguins99(12 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Amazing! Once again, only in Youngstown!

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4papa1(679 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

lyndsey deserves this for what she had to put up with from these two creeps. seems there are a lot of creeps in Youngstown these days.

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5harleydog(217 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Looked for an easy paycheck, now laughing all the way to the bank.

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6Silence_Dogood(1358 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

What do you expect,your a pretty girl.

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7kleener(49 comments)posted 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm sure it didn't bother her to put up with 2 creeps, she was well compensated for it. Plus she got to meet her married boyfriend while on the job who also benefited from her position.

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8kensgirl(627 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

So much hatred and mud slinging! So sad to still see Ytown people in such a dark and dreary place. Nothing changes. It just jumps from one generation to the next. DoGood - you're comment is so stupid it's astounding. I guess pretty girls deserve harassed. When is it against the law to turn down a job if you're pretty? You're igmorance is unbelievable. It was DeMan's inability to keep his d*** in his pants that brought all the problems in the first place. He should own it and apologize to the city. AND pay restitution.

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9FCE(5 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

OHHH--it would amaze you how much this goes on in County offices--Lindsay was just smart enough to speak up--and get an attorney--I had it happen--went to higher ups--and nothing was EVER done--I should have gone to an attorney---but thought I would keep my job--have been laid off since then--Wow--do you think it is becasue I didn't reciprocate? Doesn't matter who she met--that has nothing to do with it-----Good Luck Lyndsay----

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10Silence_Dogood(1358 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Kensgirl I am sorry if I offended, it was not my intent. I was making a point by quoting Mayor Sammarone, that is the truely offensive thing about this whole messy affair. When Ms Huges raised her complaint with the knuckle dragging Neanderthal of an ex mayor and now president of council, his response to her was and I quote "what do you expect, your a pretty girl". Your anger at a comment like that is justified and should be considered a normal response. But we are after all living in the mahoning valley where the publics response to a comment like that is to elect the bafoon back into office by a landslide.

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11DwightK(1269 comments)posted 4 months, 3 weeks ago

We're a city led by fools.

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12southsidedave(4786 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Sexual harassment is a serious offense, and apparently Hughes prevailed...deal with it.

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13IslandMike(757 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Goodness, quit hating and quit crying.

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14DeltaDick(2 comments)posted 4 months, 1 week ago

$72k? Kudos on working the system, however, I happen to personally know her VERY well, I'm sure you can imagine. But I can almost guarantee that there's more to this story than what was released being that I do know her quite well.

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